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Khazanah Partners with Plug and Play APAC to Drive Innovation and Social Impact in Malaysia



KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd today launched the Future Malaysia Programme, an initiative under its Dana Impak mandate, which aims to support the local startup ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, venture capital, and corporate venture programmes through collaborations with domestic and international partners.


The Future Malaysia Programme initiative marks a milestone for Dana Impak in increasing Malaysia's economic competitiveness and in building national resilience while delivering socioeconomic benefits and impact on the rakyat.


In line with the Malaysia MADANI Budget 2023, Khazanah is committed to playing an integral role, along with other government-linked investment companies (GLICs), in funding high-growth startups in Malaysia to spur innovation and economic growth in the country.


"Many potential solutions to the challenges we have identified under the Dana Impak themes are found in early-stage companies, which require the injection of risk capital at different stages of the venture, to scale innovation and business. The programme also aims to drive strategic corporate collaborations within Malaysia's venture capital ecosystem to foster sharing of ideas and enhance business value in a more holistic way," he said in a statement today.


Dana Impak is a RM6 billion commitment over five years and is a key pillar under Khazanah's Advancing Malaysia strategy, seeking to invest across six themes based on issues and challenges facing the nation. These include digital society and technology, quality health and education for all, decent work and social mobility, food and energy security, building climate resilience and competing in global markets.


The Future Malaysia Programme aims to deploy an initial amount of approximately RM180 million by working with established local and international venture capital managers and corporate venture programmes based in Malaysia.


By addressing the Dana Impak themes of digital society and technology and competing in global markets, the Future Malaysia Programme will augment Khazanah's efforts in discovering and nurturing early-stage entrepreneurs and startups, providing them with the strategic support required to grow.


In line with this effort, Khazanah is pleased to announce its partnership with venture capital funds Gobi Partners, a pan-Asian venture capital manager, and 500 Global, an international venture capital manager. Both are among the most active venture capital managers with an extensive investing track record and expertise for value creation in Malaysia.


Their international footprint and network act as a bridge to crowd-in regional venture funds to invest in Malaysian companies and for Malaysian startups to expand internationally, with the anticipation of becoming regional champions. Gobi Partners co-founder Thomas G Tsao said the company is thrilled to support Khazanah in delivering its Dana Impak mandate for the country.


"As a firm that is also headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and has invested in over 350 companies globally, we look forward to helping expand the Malaysian startup ecosystem and create long-term societal value through our collaboration," he said.


On the corporate collaboration front, Khazanah came on board as a corporate partner for the Petronas FutureTech 3.0 technology accelerator program. The program is aligned with the agency's purpose to foster collaboration between corporates and the tech-driven startup ecosystem by unlocking synergies and enhancing business value which leverages cross-industries expertise.


In addition, Khazanah is also establishing a partnership with Plug and Play, a leading global innovation platform that connects startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. The focus of the partnership is to set up a Malaysia-based corporate innovation and accelerator programme involving leading Malaysian corporates.


CelcomDigi Bhd, a key associate of Axiata Group Bhd and one of Khazanah's portfolio companies, has signed up as an anchor partner of the programme and will be driving the initiative via CelcomDigi's Innovation Centre.


"The partnership will open access to leading international and domestic enterprise-focused startups where Malaysian corporates are able to explore and match technology and ideas with their innovation needs while lowering risks related to corporate ventures," Amirul Feisal said.


"We are delighted to have Malaysia be part of Plug and Play's global innovation ecosystem. Partnering with Khazanah is a great start to our journey in the country, and we look forward to supporting Malaysian corporations in their innovation journey," Plug and Play APAC managing partner Jupe Tan said.


As part of the Future Malaysia Programme, Khazanah will continue identifying venture capital managers and ecosystem players with proven track records, expertise, and complementary strategic value proposition as potential partners.


Together with its partners, Khazanah aims to scale Malaysian ideas and businesses to be internationally competitive by deploying capital through its partners as well as directly into companies with sustainable business models that hopes to deliver socioeconomic impact and benefits to Malaysia.


 

Plug and Play APAC is a global innovation platform that helps corporations identify and engage with startups that are developing innovative solutions. By partnering with Plug and Play APAC, corporations can gain access to innovative solutions and startups, investment and acquisition opportunities, industry experts and mentors, and foster a culture of innovation within their organization. This can help corporations stay ahead of the curve, expand their product offerings, gain market share, and remain competitive in the rapidly evolving business landscape.


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